Preparation for the reopening of church buildings
The House of Bishops COVID-19 recovery group has shared draft guidelines for when funerals, weddings, baptisms and individual private prayer can recommence in church buildings.
At this stage the documents are only for planning purposes, so that we can be prepared when restrictions are lifted by the Government, however, all guidance is subject to change following any future Government updates.
World Environment Day
To mark World Environment Day, I spoke with influential environmentalist, theologian and author, Ruth Valerio, about how, as we move out of lockdown, we do so in a way that cares for God’s creation. In the interview, which is available on the Diocese website, we discussed what opportunities this pandemic has given us to reconsider how we care for the world around us, and the Church’s role within that.
Ruth talks engagingly about how we have all enjoyed getting back in touch with nature at this time, and that we now have a choice about how we return to normal in a more sustainable way. Ruth is leading Tearfund’s The World Rebooted campaign, and she speaks with such knowledge, optimism and hope about what our communities will look like after this pandemic has passed. The video of our discussion is available to view on our Diocesan YouTube channel.
Memorial to George Floyd
Yesterday a memorial service was held to pay tribute to the life of George Floyd. His death in Minneapolis at the hands of a white policeman has sparked a wave of protests in cities throughout America, and has caused outrage across the globe.
Systemic racism is not just an American problem, but continues to cause untold harm in our own country and around the world. We are reminded that we must all play our part in confronting racism and inequality wherever we encounter it, and as leaders in our communities we bear a particular responsibility to tackle this evil.
We join with the Archbishops in praying that God’s abounding wisdom, compassion and love will guide leaders across the world to forge a better society.
With our prayers for you all,
Bishop Tim, Bishop David and Bishop Debbie
And the Bishop’s Staff Team:
Andrew Robinson, Diocesan Chief Executive
Catherine Ogle, Dean of Winchester
Peter Rouch, Archdeacon of Bournemouth
Richard Brand, Archdeacon of Winchester
Mat Phipps, Bishop’s Chaplain